Cure It For Kids hosted its fifth annual golf tournament on Wednesday afternoon in memory of the Ball Ground girl who died of brain cancer this summer. The tournament took place at Callahan Golf Links on Reinhardt College Parkway in Waleska.
“Abigail to us was pure joy and pure sunshine,” Amy told tournament participants. “She was laughter and smiles. She was the thing that made our hearts beat a lot of days. She gave us great strength; she showed us great love.”
On June 18, Abigail died from complications from a brain tumor.
During her lifetime, Abigail underwent six surgeries, including two major brain and spinal surgeries, Amy said. She also underwent chemotherapy treatments for nearly five years, more than 30 magnetic resonance imaging scans and about 150 clinic visits, spending numerous hours in waiting rooms.
“She had cancer but cancer never, never had Abigail,” said Amy.
“She never complained, never asked ‘Why me,’ and she would always say, ‘Mommy, I know that God gave me cancer because He knew I was special and that I could handle it.’ And she handled it beautifully, wonderfully and bravely.”
Supporters over the past few years had organized various benefits to assist the family with medical expenses.
The Ball Ground-based Cure It For Kids is a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds pediatric brain tumor research. Pam Goedhart, Cure It For Kids president, said the organization was started by family and friends who remain dedicated to keeping the memory and dream of Abigail alive.
“Abigail’s whole purpose was to find a cure for all of the children that had cancer,” said Goedhart, Abigail’s great aunt. “She never really thought about herself. She knew she had cancer, but as Amy said, cancer didn’t have her.”
Goedhart said Abigail loved animals, especially horses which she rode, and always talked about helping other people in need.
With much help from the local community, more than $100,000 has been raised by Cure It For Kids, said Goedhart.
On Wednesday, 72 golfers paid $100 each to participate in the 18-hole tournament. Prizes were awarded to first, second and third place teams. O’Charley’s and Texas Roadhouse restaurants sponsored lunch and supper respectively.
Michael Patterson and Keith Ritchie of Northside Hospital-Cherokee were among those who participated in the tournament. They said they work in the same department at the hospital with Amy and wanted to show their support.
“Just in some small way to contribute to a cause that is near and dear to her heart in the name of her daughter,” Ritchie said.